Believing the Impossible: No Evidence for Existence of Psychic Abil...

A new study fails to find evidence for the existence of psychic ability, contradicting an earlier controversial study that claimed to demonstrate precognition.

Research failing to find evidence for the existence of psychic ability has been published, following a year of industry debate. The report is a response by a group of independent researchers to the 2011 study from social psychologist Daryl Bem, purporting the existence of precognition -- an ability to perceive future events.

Within parapsychology, there is a tendency to accept any positive replications but to dismiss failures to replicate if the procedures followed have not been exactly duplicated.

"We went to great pains to ensure we followed the same procedures as Bem," said Stuart Ritchie. "Using Bem's own computer programme and stats methods, we replicated his experiment three times, at each of our respective campuses, with the same number of participants as the original study."

"By having our paper published, we hope academic journals and popular media alike will offer the same weight to negative results as given to eye-catching positive results," said Professor Richard Wiseman.

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We would have to assume that any paranormal abilities are genetically based (unless of course that god didn't give it)  If it is, in fact, genetic it would be the number one,  premium, evolutionary survival trait and would spread  throughout the population faster than the ability of language acquisition and we would all have the ability. 

We don't so I consider it grade A bullshit.

I never looked at it that way before. Thanks!

Interesting point. I was fooled by scientific-sounding parapsychology studies for years, until I stumbled upon the literature about systemic fraud and design flaws in the field. Too bad you weren't around to make this point when I was a naive undergraduate.

There is too much pseudoscience in the field, not just pseudoscientific theory but also pseudoscientific procedure. This is the pure flim-flammery that is easily mistaken for science. Look at "Ghost Hunters" and similar TV programs. There they are, with a trailer-full of technological gimmickery. They know how to use the equipment; therefore, they must know what they are doing. Right? That is the hook. For the average person who knows no more about scientific method than that people who look like they know what they are doing are operating machines that go ping!, this looks like the real thing. There they are collecting data! Boy, that's science. What does it amount to? The hard data is mostly temperature variation and indistinguishable noises. In old houses and cemeteries? Really, that never happens. However, the real pseudoscience is that the "investigators" apply a conclusion they had come to before they took the data. It is classic circular reasoning: Temperature variations and weird noises indicate ghosts, and I got some temperature variations and weird noises so I got a ghost. Never once is the application of the data questioned. The remaining "evidence," such as it is, consists of anecdotal evidence, unsubstantiated claims of hauntings. The average viewer does not have the education to see how unscientific all this is. I pick on Ghost Hunters, but the same procedures go for all sorts of other claims of supernormal and paranormal phenomena. In fact, it also goes for nearly every variety of "alternative" medicine, for which there are even "professional" organizations producing "research" all of which amounts to the same kind nonsense based on the same problems that ghost hunting involves: circular propositions, incorrectly used data, and large amounts of anecdotal evidence. I go on about this, but this nonsense has permeated so much of society from the barely educated to postmodernists with Ph.D.s that I get a little frothy at the mouth.

Along with theology I have also studied psychic ability for 20 years. Once, I even thuoght I was a psychic. Let me explain it to you.

Deja Vu. This French expression, meaning "already seen," is in actuality what occurs when imformation reaches the right brain a split instant before the information reaches the left brain. This creates a confusion in which you have your epiphany moment.

If you are one of todays "totally, totally, totally" people I can put this into easier terms for you. The phone rings and instantly you know this has happened before.

People like James Randi will debunk psychic power and spoon bending. It's also hard to fool Penn and Teller.


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